Idaho's State Land Board names Tom Schultz as new Dept. of Lands director, effective Sept. 26; Schultz previously managed 4.7 million acres of Montana's state trust lands

BOISE, Idaho , August 24, 2011 (press release) – The Idaho Board of Land Commissioners (State Land Board) unanimously selected veteran land manager Tom Schultz today as the new director of the Idaho Department of Lands.

Schultz was Trust Land Division administrator for Montana's Department of Natural Resources & Conservation for the past ten years, with responsibility for managing more than 4.7 million acres of state trust lands. He succeeds George Bacon, who recently retired as Idaho Department of Lands director after 33 years of service.

"We want to thank George for his decades of service and commitment, and welcome Tom to this new challenge and opportunity in his career," said Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, chairman of the five-member Land Board. "It's a big responsibility overseeing the day-to-day management of our precious State endowment lands – and the resources they contain. Not only we but generations of Idahoans yet to come rely on the stewardship of this Board and the people we employ to advance the policies and priorities of the citizens we all serve. Tom Schultz will make a great addition to that team of dedicated professionals at the Department of Lands."

The Land Board conducted a nationwide search for a successor, which attracted more than 150 applicants. Four top candidates were interviewed on August 16th, and the final choice was made today.

Schultz, formerly a U.S. Air Force officer, has a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in political science from the University of Wyoming and master's degree in forestry from the University of Montana.

Kathy Opp, deputy director at the Department of Lands, will continue as interim director until Schultz begins as director on September 26.

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